Tag Archives: Blue Star Line

Titanic News: Beer Served On Original Titanic on Titanic II(Maybe)

Wrexham Lager Beer workers, circa 1910. Image: public domain
Wrexham Lager Beer workers, circa 1910.
Image: public domain

More possible evidence that Clive Palmer is not doing a Titanic publicity stunt. The Daily Mail reports that Wrexham Lager, which was served aboard Titanic, will also supply Titanic II if approved by Blue Star Line. According to brewery director Mark Roberts:

“We got to hear about the plan and the fact they were looking to use original suppliers if possible. They have signed up the original brandy and champagne houses and we thought it was only right they should have the original lager suppliers too.”

Now to be clear it is not quite official. The brewery has sent samples to Blue Star and got a positive reaction writes Daily Mail. So the next step is the legal one where documents are signed to license the beer as the official beer of Titanic II.

Wrexham Lager produced a range of lagers under different labels. The Munich style lager was apparently the one used on Titanic. According to Titanic lunch menus that survived, they were served “iced draught Munich lager beer.” Wrexham Lager went out of business in 200o but was relaunched in 2011 by Mark Roberts. Industrialist Robert Graesser bought the majority share in 1886 and secured major contracts with Great Western Railway and British Army. He apparently traveled on a White Star liner to America and took a keg of beer to market it. Apparently it became popular in this country and shipping lines like White Star decided to stock it.

Source: Let’s Hope That’s All That Goes Down: Replica Titanic Cruise Ship Plans To Serve The Same Brand Drinks As The Ill-Fated Liner(27 Mar 2014,Daily Mail)


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Titanic News: Antique Dealers Accused Stealing Titanic Memorabilia, Titanic II Keel Might Be Laid Soon, And How To Recycle Old VHS Tapes

gavel1. The New York Post reports that Noelle Hollander, daughter of late nautical expert Frank Braynard, has filed suit against two antiques dealers accusing them of stealing her father’s trove of ship memorabilia which includes Titanic memorabilia. The suit alleges Kerry McCaffrey and Richard Faber looted the memorabilia during a visit when her father was suffering from dementia. Also alleged is that he sold them a valuable painting at a bargain basement price which a gallery is now selling for $125,000. Hollander claims her father was unaware what the antiques dealers were doing because of his illness. Both dealers deny any wrong doing.
Source: Titanic Items Swiped From Seaport Museum Founder: Suit(25 Mar 2014,New York Post)

2. Cruise Ship News hopes that everything is going well and that the keel for Titanic II will be 31 March. That has symbolism since the original Titanic keel was laid on the same date in 1909. Of course there are nagging reports of problems between Clive Palmer and the Chinese shipyard. And some believe the whole thing is a publicity stunt.
Source: Titanic 2 Keel Expected To Be Laid March 31(25 Mar 2014,Cruise Ship News)

3. In the category of what will they make Titanic out of next comes this story. Five students with a charity called Butterfly Project decided to recycle old VHS tapes in a novel way. So they obtained 1,000 old VHS tapes, disassembled them, and used the materials to construct a 12 foot replica of the famous ship. Sadly no picture accompanies the story, which is a bummer since it would be something worth seeing. Hard to remember but VHS tapes were state of the art tech for viewing movies not so long ago. At least the typewriter still has a use when power goes out and you need to get a letter out the door.
Source: What Do You Do With 1000 VHS Video Cassettes – Make A Titanic Model Of Course(25 Mar 2014 ,Gloucester Citizen)


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Wednesday Titanic News:Titanic II Update, Rare Titanic Documents On Display, Albion House Opens To Public, and Diners Experience Poseidon’s Wrath

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.
RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.

1. Titanic II Update: Asia Cruise News is reporting some doubt is being raised about Titanic II construction. Apparently Clive Palmer is possibly reconsidering the project being built in a Chinese shipyard.

Clive Palmer, the mining tycoon behind Titanic II, is alleged to have been disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm to build the ship in China and that the quotes to build there in terms of delivery time and price were not what he was expecting, and he is now thought to be reconsidering the project. “Palmer was expecting to find a sponsor and a partner at a Chinese shipyard, but he did not,” the source said.

I am not totally surprised by this. The Chinese probably want more control over the ship or Blue Star Line before they commit any money and Palmer is not going along with it. So naturally the prices he was quoted early on have risen sharply along with all kinds of fees required by the government. The Chinese probably want the ship for themselves and Palmer is just a convenient capitalist who brought it to their door. Hope he did not put down a lot of money for a deposit.
Source: ‘It’s On Track,’ Blue Star Maintains, As Doubts Over Titanic II Surface(5 Mar 2014,Asia Cruise News)

2. Collection Of Rare Titanic-Related Documents At The Penn Libraries(4 Mar 2014,UPENN Almanac)
The John B. Thayer Memorial Collection of the Sinking of the Titanic was donated to the Penn Libraries by members of the Thayer family. The collection provides a fascinating record of an historically important world event. Items in the collection include the manuscript of his memoir, published in 1940, contemporary newspaper clippings documenting Mr. Thayer’s tale of survival and correspondence between Marian Thayer and J. Bruce Ismay, CEO of the White Star Line which commissioned the Titanic. These materials will now be located in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts for researchers to access.

3. Restored Titanic Headquarters Opens In Liverpool(1 Mar 2o14,BBC)
Hundreds queued to see the former headquarters of Titanic cruise liner operator White Star Line open its doors for the first time in decades. Grade II listed Albion House on The Strand, Liverpool, is being converted into a hotel by Signature Living. The first class ticket lounge has been restored with original features that were hidden when the building was converted to offices. The White Star Line flag was raised to mark 80 years since it closed.Titanic historian Paul Louden-Brown had the flag made to the original White Star pattern.

4. Poseidon’s Wrath
Having a meal at Moby Dick Restaurant, located on a Santa Barbara pier, boasts a great view of the waves and lots of fresh seafood. A recent storm during breakfast gave diners an experience they will not soon forget. A large wave crashed into a restaurant window shattering glass and scattering patrons. No doubt the owners will soon be upgrading their windows to be more resistant. And probably a lawyer will advise posting a warning to patrons that eating at the restaurant includes the possibility of a rogue wave crashing through a window once in a while and they are not liable for damages. And of course should the real Moby Dick show up, your on your own.


Titanic News For Superbowl Sunday

American football(Pictured above 2009 Pro Bowl) Photo: Public Domain
American football(Pictured above 2009 Pro Bowl)
Photo: Public Domain

1. Page For New Titanic 2 Ship Goes Down(2 Feb 2014,Cruise Ship News)
Both the bluestarline.com.au and titanic-ii.com websites redirect to a suspendedpage.cgi page that states the following message, “Template Error: The template file must be given (or the template could not be opened)”. This news has led some to feel that the new Titanic 2 ship is never coming and more about helping Clive Palmer’s political career, although we will leave that debate to the conspiracy theorists.

2.Spotlight: ‘Raise the Titanic’ by Clive Cussler(2 Feb 2014,News OK)
By now, readers know what to expect from Clive Cussler. He has written or co-authored 62 books, many of them thrillers focusing on Dirk Pitt, a darkly handsome, unstoppable hero who is something like an unlicensed James Bond. These days, Cussler’s portrayals of chivalry seem outdated and perhaps offensive, but he continues to churn out books, maintaining a consistent presence on the best-seller lists. He may never have become so popular if not for “Raise the Titanic,” a 1976 novel that introduced most readers to Pitt and launched Cussler’s career. The book, published long before Robert Ballard discovered the real resting place of the Titanic, was an unqualified success, in part because interest in the Titanic disaster never wanes. Pitt is tasked with bringing the remains of the great ship back to the surface in one piece, but as success draws nearer, dark forces are closing in.

3.Warhol-Style Exhibition Is Tribute To Titanic Victims (1 Feb 2014, Newtown Abbey Today)
Newtownabbey artist Lise McGreevy has paid tribute to “Titanic’s fallen” with an exhibition inspired by the style of Andy Warhol.The display entitled “We Salute You” is currently on show at The Dock Cafe near the Odyssey in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, until February 28, then onboard the Nomadic, the ship which ferried passengers to the iconic vessel before its ill-fated maiden voyage where it will be shown from March 24 until April 30.

4.Premier Exhibitions, Inc. Announces Partnership To Bring King Tut Exhibition To North America-Press Release(27 Jan 2014,PR Newswire )
Premier Exhibitions, Inc. (“Premier Exhibitions”) , a leading presenter of museum quality touring exhibitions, announced today that it will bring The Discovery of King Tut, an exhibition that recreates one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century, to North America for the first time. The partnership with Semmel Concerts GmbH (“Semmel”), gives Premier Exhibitions the exclusive rights to tour the exhibition in North America. Semmel has successfully toured a similar exhibition in Europe since 2008, with approximately five million people experiencing the exhibition in 20 host cities.


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Titanic II Updates

Photo courtesy George Behe
Photo courtesy George Behe

1.Clive Palmer’s Titanic Cash Splash Just A Drop In The Ocean (27 Dec 2013,news.com.au)
It’s one of his most publicised pet projects, but Clive Palmer has so far committed little more than $800,000 to his dream of building Titanic II.  But financial returns lodged this week for the 2012-13 financial year reveal that as at June 30, just $828,700 had been committed by his Blue Star Line to the project “to be paid in the future.”

2. First Class Steward Descendant On Titanic II Advisory Board(20 Dec 2013,News Mail)
A descendant of a first class steward and survivor of the RMS Titanic, Alexander James Littlejohn, has joined the advisory board of Blue Star Line’s Titanic II project. Clive Palmer said Philip Littlejohn is the grandson of Alexander Littlejohn, who survived the 1912 sinking of the Titanic after being ordered to row Lifeboat 13. “Lifeboat 13 is well known as the lifeboat that contained the youngest survivor, Millvina Dean,” he said.

Saturday Titanic Newswrap

Photo courtesy George Behe
Photo courtesy George Behe

1.Titanic II Update: Model testing for Titanic II will begin next month at Hamburg Ship Model Basin in Germany. According to Marinelink: “A 9.3m wooden model of Titanic II will be put through resistance and powering tests in a 300m long tank at HSVA’s Hamburg facilities in mid-September.”
Source:Titanic II Model Tank Testing To Be In Germany(23 Aug 2013,Marinelink.com)

2. Famed underwater explorer Robert Ballard is exploring the Cayman Trough, the deepest part of the Caribbean reports AP.  The trough is at least  25,000 feet deep and the scientists aboard Nautilus hope organisms collected will help understand how life evolves on other worlds According to the news report, they have “captured a dumbo octopus, named for its two ear-like fins; a sea cucumber with an unidentified appendage; and various invertebrates living around hydrothermal vents that can reach temperatures of more than 400 Celsius (752 Fahrenheit).” They are also studying underwater earthslides to determine frequency and magnitude that causes tsunamis.The Nautilus is scheduled to return to port in September to avoid hurricanes and then heads to Puerto Rico in October.
Source:Explorer Who Discovered Titanic Wreck Now Investigating Deepest Trough In Caribbean Sea(22 Aug 2013,AP)

3. Here is a sneak peek of Titanic’s Final Mystery to be shown on Smithsonian Channel.

Titanic Musings: Ismay Home For Sale; Titanic II update, THS Reviews and more!

1. Normally a house sale would not be here except it was once the home of J. Bruce Ismay, J. Bruce Ismayformer chairman of the White Star Line and Titanic survivor. No need to rehash that story except to note some news reports erroneously connect him as the person who boarded a lifeboat wearing women’s clothes (nope, that was not Ismay). Costello Lodge, in Casla, Galway Ireland was once his home from 1914-1939. Also some reports indicate he exiled himself there after Titanic’s demise but that is not true. He did other things but led a quieter life outside the public. The property has changed hands over the years and the current owners, Jack and Agnes Toohey, purchased it in 1981. It goes up for auction tomorrow and you can read the details of the property here.

Needless to say this has generated a buzz with many people wanting to see the place where Ismay once lived. A recent auction of things inside the house drew a large crowd though very little was from Ismay. According to Galway News, so many people showed up they had an overflow crowd. The auction lasted from 12 noon until 9pm, the longest that auctioneer had ever conducted an auction. There was some Titanic memorabilia but most came from the current owners. 74 years after his death, Ismay still generates interest.

2. Titanic II Updates-Signs that Titanic II is proceeding forward are indicated with Palmer’s White Star Line inking an agreement with V.Ships Leisure that will be providing ship management services. According to Marine Log: “V.Ships Leisure 200 shore-based and 7,000 crew members provide services to more than 120 cruise ships, ferries and super yachts. These services are in many cases customised to meet the specific needs of clients including the ability to provide integrated deck and engine and hotel management as part of the same service offering.”

Clive Palmer also reports that applications to work on Titanic II are coming in. While some are applying to captain it, Palmer says the best jobs will be the activities director along with the head of food services. If recent meals at his Titanic announcement parties are any indication, you will not be taking Titanic II for its low calorie food.

3. Titanic Commutator, the official publication of Titanic Historical Society, had reviews for two books in its recent edition of current interest.  One is Steven Turner’s The Band That Played On about the famous Titanic musicians. Tim Trower gives this book mostly high marks saying it is well researched and gives good overview of who these musicians–including that of Wallace Hartley–were. Yvonne Carroll’s book, A Hymn for Eternity, is focused on Wallace Hartley although it covers the other musicians as well. Turner is enthusiastic about this book. “During a time that has seen a plethora of ”must have” books, this reprinted (and corrected) slim volume of  A Hymn For Eternity is a book that I would willingly spend part of my rapidly diminishing book budget on…” (Okay, full disclaimer here. This site is partnered with Amazon so I will shamelessly plug these books in this blog. It is your choice to buy them or not.)

4. Gordon Ramsey, the fiery chef of Hell’s Kitchen(HK), recently admitted in a news interview that many cheftestants were chosen not for their cooking skills but entertainment value. Really? I am shocked like Claude Rain’s character was in Casablanca to learn there was gambling going on. Everyone who has watched this show long enough knows they stack it either with actors or those with low kitchen skills to create drama for the show. And it works since it usually gets Ramsey yelling that they are a bunch of donkeys! In Kitchen Nightmares(KN) it is no secret they often have people come in to specifically say how bad the food is (which is not so hard considering that Gordon has tasted the food already). KN is a different show from HK with real restaurants run by the clueless, foolish, and sometimes arrogant owners who have totally messed up their business. And usually the restaurants are in dire need of his help because things are going bad. They just do no realize how bad until he digs around and shows them.

I have been watching, thanks to Netflix streaming, not only the UK version but now the U.S. version as well. I have gotten to the end of season 2 and it really is astonishing what he does find. Statistics are also interesting. 7 out of 9 restaurants in the first season (US) closed. In season 2 all the restaurants are closed. The reasons for closure can vary but fall into distinct groups:

1) Failure to change
Not long after the show aired, the owner/chef decided to go back to the way it was. Customers dropped off again leading to closure. They usually blame it on Gordon for changing the menu.

2) Financial
Debts are so high that even if the restaurant is successful, it cannot be sustained.

3) Government shut down/Eviction by landlord
Restaurants have to pay taxes and if they do not, the state shows up and shutters the place. That has happened to several restaurants Gordon helped. Sometimes the owner goes on and establishes himself elsewhere. Others fold up and go away. Another reason is the landlord raises the rent forcing the restaurant out of business. This happened in the UK version and in the U.S. one as well.

4) Economic downturn/Changing tastes
Many restaurants folded in recent years due to the economic downturn. People stopped spending money in restaurants and financing became tougher to obtain. Another reason is customers tastes change. Many notable old fashioned Italian restaurants in San Francisco have closed in recent years. These old style family places are out of sync in a city that wants more trendy, lighter fare (but there are exceptions to that rule). Their clientele became older and younger people were no longer coming in.

Of course that recent fellow down in Nashville, the one who wears that silly toque and stripped pants, falls into category 1. He knew KN would show the unsanitary conditions, how he cooked fish and meat together (a major faux pas) and generally disdainful of the local people would get bad press for him. So he picked up the phone and called that prize winning newspaper, National Enquirer, to vent before the show aired. He claimed Gordon had wrecked his business by changing the menu, making him wear real pants and take off the toque, and really cook good food again. Yet we know his restaurant is suffering. A news report from 2012 says he was near foreclosure but obviously managed to get financing. He was forced to admit, just before the show aired, that people were going to see things they did not like. Since he has returned to the old menu (and one one wonders that hideous décor), he too may be closing his doors in a year like many others. Blaming it on Gordon is convenient but in the end the restaurant owner has to take responsibility.

Sources:
Ismay House
1) For Sale: Infamous Titanic Survivor’s Connemara Retreat(3 May 2013, Daily Business Post)*
2) Connemara Auction Generates ‘Titanic’ Spending Spree(7 May 2013, Irish Times)*
3) Thousands Turn Out For Titanic Auction(9 May 2013, Galway News)*

Titanic II
1)V. Ships Leisure To Be Titanic II Ship Manager(7 May 2013, Marine Log)
2) Clive Palmer Says Staff On Titanic II Will Receive More Than A Pay Cheque(8 May 2013, The Australian)

Hell’s Kitchen/Kitchen Nightmares
1)Gordon Ramsay Admits Some Hell’s Kitchen Chefs Not Cast For Their Talent(blog)(6 May 2013, realityblurred.com)
2)Exclusive Interview: “Gordon Ramsay Wrecked My Business!”(26 Mar 2013, National Enquirer)
3)Chappy’s On Church Facing Foreclosure(25 Jan 2012, Nashville Business Journal)

*We do not provide links to Republic of Ireland newspapers due to policy of demanding payment for links.


Titanic News For 11 Mar 2013

*Anjelica Finore writes in The Quad about her recent visit to the Titanic exhibition at Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. She writes “I searched for my passenger and learned that she survived but her husband did not. I could not help but feel a connection to her.” Indeed many who have visited the exhibition walk away with the same feeling.

For information about dates, times, admission price go to www.fi.edu/titanic/. The exhibition runs till 7 April 2013.

Source: Titanic Exhibit Transports Philly Across Time (10 Mar 2013, Quad)

* Details, details. According ITV, if Titanic II is to follow the footsteps of the original it needs to get permission from Southampton. So far the Associated British Ports(ABP), the port owner, has not been contacted by Palmer’s Blue Star Line. While they have terminals to handle the ship, the original one used by Titanic (Berth 44) has no modern passenger or security facilities. ITV also reports mixed reactions from locals and those connected to Titanic. Bob Prior of British Titanic Society says it is in poor taste. Dot Haisman (her mother was a survivor) believes it will pay tribute to those on board. And Captain Smith’s family is not keen on Titanic II either.

Source: New Titanic Will Need Southampton’s Permission(5 Mar 2013,ITV.com)

*Here are some headlines about Titanic II. Can you guess what they think about it?

With Titanic II’s Maiden Voyage Set For 2016, Maybe We Should Rename It Disaster 2: The Eek-quel (27 Feb 2013, New York Post)

Titanic II: Meet The Worst Sequel Ever(27 Feb 2013, MSN Money)

DALE McFEATTERS: We Need Titanic II Like We Need Hole In Hull (1 Mar 2013,

*There is a funny bit in Ghostbusters II when it is announced that Titanic has docked and the ghosts are getting off!

*It is nearly back!!! Hell’s Kitchen (US) once again brings us weeks of that English chef yelling, screaming, and throwing plates and pans into the garbage as he gets mad at the cheftestants for screwing up scallops and other things. Apparently they have made some changes this year to the format. Gordon Ramsey has turned it into an art as to how many times they have to *bleep* his words out.


Sunday Titanic News

A pastor writes in the Beauregard Daily News  about how Titanic II is flirting with disaster. Not in the way most people think about Palmer’s project, but it repeats the same hubris that surrounded the original ship. Built as the greatest ship of its time and considered almost unsinkable, it showcased complacency on every level. And that to carelessness which led to the ship colliding with the iceberg and over 1,500 souls. Of all the many criticisms of Titanic II, actually this one makes the most sense.

Now many will not agree with his theology on the matter, but the essential point is about pride. And pride is one of those things that can lead to exactly what happened to Titanic. People were so confident in the technology they forgot to care about the dangers lurking right in front of them. You do not have to believe in Jesus to understand that point. They became too complacent with the dangers of not having enough lifeboats to evacuate passengers and crew. It was easy to not be concerned about pack ice because running into icebergs was a rare thing. The crew was not properly educated on this new ship and were unfamiliar with it leading to problems getting things done right. And you can go on. The lesson then as now is to watch yourself from falling into that trap. We face it in large and small ways.

In other news….

Billy Zane, who many recall from Cameron’s Titanic (perhaps the best role he ever had on screen), was asked recently if he would bring his two girls aboard Titanic II. He is quoted as saying “No. I’m not sure that I’d care to risk it.”  Okay Mr. Zane but when you get that invitation, I bet you are going to re-think it. The publicity alone is worth its weight in gold.

The Titanic Exhibition at Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is being extended by one month due to popular demand. It now runs to 28 April. For information about prices, times and hours go to fwmuseum.org.

Sources:

1. Pastor’s Corner: For What It’s Worth, Let’s Consider, Are You Flirting With Disaster? (10 Mar 2013, Beauregard Daily News)
2. Billy Zane Says Clive Palmer’s Ship ‘A Risk’ (10 Mar 2013, Herald Sun)
3. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition Extended To April 28 In Fort Worth(8 Mar 2013, Pegasus News)


Friday Scramble

*Push back against Titanic II is going on right now. Most dislike it being called Titanic II saying it dishonors the memory of those who died in 1912. Others call it ghoulish. The pictures of what the inside will look like are erie to say the least. After all we have already had one Titanic that was unique. Titanic II would seem to take that away, at least in some people’s minds. Some object to the fact he will recreate First, Second and Third class. Palmer says it will give people the opportunity to experience what it was like in 1912.

Now I look at this as a gimmick. Cruise ships ply the waters of the globe selling spots to all kinds of people, from adventurers to eco-tourists. They go to the warm tropical waters and the icy cold of the north. Palmer wanted to do something radically different by recreating a historical cruise ship. He is onto something there. Riverboats are coming back, not as means to transport people up and down rivers or across lakes, but a tourist attractions. Cruise ships for rivers, if you prefer. The old paddle wheel driven boats have a following and are neat. So Palmer, sensing money to be made from Titanic, goes big. Really big. And he thinks he will make good money. He is probably right. A lot of people would take a cruise to see what it was like in 1912.

But it is Titanic! Well no. It is a replica. Unlike salvaging Titanic, which had many detractors since it was considered by many a grave, this merely recreates the ship but only in outward appearance. It will be a fully modern ship (except in the old fashioned gym) with all the bells and whistles except for a few things. No television and no internet for the passengers (one assumes the bridge officers though have access to it for urgent communications) in their rooms. Of course you can bring your mobile equipment aboard but there will be no wi-fi to hook up to (unless you have satellite).

I fully understand why people are not happy with Titanic II but remember you go on board by choice. No one is forcing anyone to take the ship. In fact, it could be a bust if it makes no money. There is no guarantee it will succeed. And as of this writing, no actual build contract has been signed. It could go all up in smoke and be nothing more than lots of talk in the end.

*Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition will be at the Lexington Center Museum & Gallery (Lexington, KY) from Oct 5 , 2013 – Jan 26 , 2014. You can get information about it here.

*While watching one of the early episodes of Seaquest, Dr. Ballard at the end commented about fiber optics and how they would change communication. That was back in 1993. Now in 2013 we see how accurate he was. Back then slow dial-up Internet was the norm (remember Prodigy anyone?) and Internet streaming was just a futuristic dream. Today many of us have switched to DSL for faster downloads and Internet streaming. A lot of this is possible because of fiber optics. A lot of kids born today will never know the real old days before cable (and remote controls), rotary phones, and telegrams. Email has become so common that the Post Office has lost money.

* Speaking of the old Post Office, it is in a terrible mess. It has crushing debt from pensions and declining revenues because more people use Internet that regular mail. For instance I get my credit card statements downloaded each month rather than by mail. Many of my bills I pay online as well (though not all). The day is coming when most catalogs will no longer be sent by mail but available (and personalized) from a their websites. Now I still send Christmas cards via regular mail and I get packages (usually small ones like books or other items from Amazon) via the Post Office. That is still cheaper than shipping by the private shippers like UPS. It comes as no surprise that a politician has suggested taxing email as a means to keep the Post Office afloat. It is already getting criticized but it was just a trial balloon. I suspect the plan is to surcharge every parcel shipment through a private carrier, lets say 15% of the shipping cost or a flat fee of perhaps $5.00. Since these guys cannot ever charge less than the Post Office, you are sure to bring in money. And no doubt the government could require all its contractors to ship (except for heavy freight) through the Post Office. So do not be surprised if discussion of Internet charges to fund the U.S Post Office or surcharges for using private parcel carriers gets louder.